Jeremy Larson – Jeremy Larson
Release Date: October 8, 2007
Record Label: Outlook Music
Sure, whenever there is talk of a band in the music scene working their way up the ladder to “make it,” the phrase “DIY” gets tossed around perhaps a little too casually such that the true sense of it can be lost. And yes, the term is traditionally applied to touring and release mantra, but Jeremy Larson certainly looks to put his own twist on the idea. Whereas some artists have been known to kick out a side project while buddying up to an acoustic guitar and a protools rig (which can actually yield noteworthy results of its own), Larson takes it a giant leap forward. Adding drums, guitar, cello, trumpet, mandolin and various keyboards (among others) to his already socked cache of piano, upright bass, and vocal mastery, the man is truly a one man band, if not a one man orchestra.
On his self-titled debut, the results of Larson’s multifaceted skills are apparent from the get-go, as “The Thief” opens the album with giant string swells and pleasant, throaty vocals. Think Stephen Christian of Anberlin mixed with an earthy anchoring of Ryan O’Neal from Sleeping at Last, and your expectations will be well-met. When Jeremy belts out, “You stole the sun” amidst a sea of strings and crashing percussion, it is hard not to be impressed by the pure majesty of such a songwriting exhibition. And all this comes within the first cut.
From there, Larson comes back down to earth for a bit, with the somber piano balladry of “The Colony” and the cool thoughtfulness (and unexpected catchiness) of “A Neutral Conclusion.” Larson really hits his stride, however, on the next two tracks when he cranks the beauty dial past 10. On “The Sound of Snow,” a sparse piano intro leads into Larson’s dulcet croon – a combination that magnifies the emotional impact of the song beneath. The track then rises and falls in intervals that keep the track engaging, highlighting Larson’s fundamental skills as a songwriter. Capitalizing on this momentum, the record crests with the tremendous splendor of “Swim,” a song begging to be featured in the most poignant parts of every single movie and TV show in production. The piece wisely centers about Larson’s expert vocals (where he sounds eerily like our beloved Anberlin/Anchor & Braille frontman), and stirs in elegant dashes of keys, cymbals, and vocal accents to paint a picture that is sincerely touching and moving. The song still doles out handfuls of goosebumps, and this is after countless spins.
After these peaks, Larson’s record loses little steam – it instead offers up gratifying variations on composition types rather infrequently heard in this scene’s music. There is the slow, meandering bittersweetness of “Make Believe,” the chilly atmospherics of “Frozen Lake,” the yearning emotion of “A Narrow Escape,” and an overarching mastery of so many elements previously flirted with on the stellar “When Morning Comes.” There is nary a track to skip on Larson’s offering – a rare feat in and of itself.
While the term “genius” is certainly used a bit recklessly nowadays, there are few other words so fundamentally appropriate to describe Jeremy Larson’s aptitude for his craft. From his thought-provoking and insightful lyrics to his intelligently constructed arrangements, it is easy and most welcome to get swept up in the grandeur of these tunes. The future here is bright – we should all be looking forward to what Jeremy Larson and his many instruments give us next.
There was at one point. He was selling the hard copy through CD Warehouse in Springfield, MO and he had a link for it on his myspace however that link no longer works. I have spoken to him on myspace on several occasions and he is nothing but a gentleman so I'm sure he'd be happy to help you out if you wrote to him (that is...if you have a myspace).
interesting. If you can compare him to copeland i will have to check this out for sure. Copeland gives me wood, lets see if this guy can give me a semi...
You guys will love it, I am sure. If you would like some more convincing, check these out:
I would also like to say thank you to Steve for this review. I've been listening to Jeremy for a while now and he definitely deserves the support. I discovered his music through a couple guys named Brandon Goodwin and Nate Black who filmed the above videos. They gave me some of his music back at a summer camp I went to long ago and I've been in love ever since. His song "Today" was used on the now canceled series, "What About Brian" that was on ABC if anyone randomly feels like maybe they recognize the song (it's a bit of a long shot, haha). Anyway, great review Steve and I agree completely. I just hope he gets even bigger. He was on my "artist you think will blow up in 08" list that you guys make at the end of the year so I'm crossing my fingers. :-D
By the way Steve, have you ever heard Paper Route? They have a couple EP's out and they're working on an album. They're not the same type of music exactly....but I feel like you'd like them.